PETALING JAYA - Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is supposed to relinquish the premiership to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in two years' time, but the veteran statesman says his stint could be extended beyond that.
Dr Mahathir acknowledged that two years was the initial decision, but this was not set in stone.
"It (the two years) is a suggestion, but we are not fixed on this. It could be earlier, or even later.
"The priority is to return the nation's wealth and build our economy to become more sustainable.
"In the short term, I want to overcome the problems we are facing now.
"If I succeed, money won't be an issue, what will matter is the result of our work," he said in an interview with Sinar Harian published on Saturday (June 9).
However, he was quick to reiterate that Anwar would be his successor.
Anwar, who was Pakatan Harapan's choice for prime minister even before the general election, received a full pardon on May 16.
The contentious past between the duo has caused doubt if Dr Mahathir would make way for Anwar, despite assurances by both that it would happen.
Anwar was once Dr Mahathir's protege and deputy prime minister, but was unceremoniously sacked in 1998 and convicted for sodomy and corruption.
In the interview, Dr Mahathir also denied any involvement in Anwar's incarceration, saying it was the police who had enforced the rule of law.
"Anwar's case was not my doing. The police said 'oh, a deputy prime minister cannot be like that, for us to ignore whatever he does'
"If we want to go follow the rule of law, we must let the law take its course even if our friend is implicated," he said.